[Krystoff] The Cage (11)

Today, I’m wasting time in the library again. This wing of the mansion just really soothes me, so I’ve become pretty familiar with it. I never considered myself much of a bookworm, but I think I see the appeal these days; it helps that there are so many completely new things for me to learn about here. Every day in the library is a new discovery.

I’m paging through a book on fairy recipes, which I’m realizing after flipping through a bit means recipes made out of fairies and not recipes for fairies, yuck, when Krystoff floats into my periphery with my cell phone in his hand.

KRYSTOFF: Jun, your cell thing keeps buzzing at the table and annoying me.

He squints at the screen and frowns.

KRYSTOFF: Ugh, is this Calisto? Do you actually talk to that reprobate?

JUN: Reprobate? Whose Victorian grandpa are you?

KRYSTOFF: …Is today your birthday?

JUN: What?

He hands me my phone and I realize the reason my phone is blowing up is because everyone’s texting and trying to call me for my birthday. Whoops. That is today, isn’t it?

JUN: Whoops. That is today. Lost track of time, I guess.

upwhenimdown: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLIN!!!! ^3^ ^3^ ^3^ 
[5 Missed Calls]
UGH CALL ME BACK WHEN YOU CAN! I wanna take you to this cute cafe I found on the other side of town, maybe tomorrow, let me knowwww!

[1 Missed Call]
junnnnn!!!!!!!!! lady told me today’s ur bday! happy bday!
gimme ur schedule i’ll take u out for drinks or somethin…
wait u don’t drink huh LMAO
i’ll take u out……………………… for
i have no ideas but we’ll do whatever u want
i’ll tattoo u for free lol jk
unless u actually want me to and then i will 😉
ok let me know byeeee


RF31: Happy birthday, Jun.
I have overcome my distaste for texting in order to wish you well on your special day. I hope my message finds you well.
I also wanted to say while I’m here that I knew the watermelon pie was bad. I analyzed its flavor after we made it. But I did not have the “heart” to tell Tor it was not satisfactory. I trust you had the good sense to dispose of the pie we burdened you with.
I also hope you will join us this weekend for a picture outing. Tor likes photos very much.
Take care.

cassy_oh: hi jun!
i hope this isnt weird but i heard from tor that todays your birthday!! i hope you have a great one! ^^
im playing a show downtown next friday and like, you absolutely dont have to go anything but if you want to i can get you in for free!!
omg but please dont take that as an obligation to go or anything like that haha just if you want to! have a good day!

JUN: Man, I’m not used to getting this many messages. Everyone really spread that info like wildfire.

Krystoff watches me skim my messages from over my shoulder which would normally annoy me, but I let him because he rarely takes interest in my phone or game systems, so I find his curiosity kind of cute.

KRYSTOFF: Everyone really took to you quickly, huh? I don’t even know who half these people are off the top of my head. Why don’t they all just use their real names instead of these silly fake names?

And yet he could pick out that one of them was Calisto, no problem.

JUN: I dunno, it’s just an internet thing. For privacy, I guess. But sometimes it’s just fun to pick a new name.

KRYSTOFF: I guess.

He tilts his head like he doesn’t really get it. I shouldn’t find his ineptitude with technology as adorable as I do.

KRYSTOFF: So today is your birthday, then?

JUN: Yeah, not that big of a deal though. I never really do anything for my birthday. Though it looks like I will be this year if I actually follow through with all these invitations I just got…

KRYSTOFF: Let’s do something. We can go somewhere, wherever you want. Or do you want to eat food? We can eat food. Well, you can eat food.

JUN: It makes me sound like a dog when you ask like that! We don’t have to do anything special, really…

KRYSTOFF: What if I said I want to?

JUN: Haha, what’s with you?

KRYSTOFF: I want to do something nice for you. Is that so bad?

JUN: No, I’m just surprised by your honesty. You’re being cute right now.

He pulls a face.

KRYSTOFF: Don’t make me regret it.

JUN: Okay. Then why don’t you pick what we do?


JUN: I’m indecisive. And if you decide, it’ll be like your gift to me. I wanna see what you choose.

Regenald blinks owlishly from Krystoff’s shoulder, looking sort of like he wants to speak up and suggest something, but he remains silent, leaving Krystoff to pace and consider his options alone.

KRYSTOFF: Hmm… What’s something Jun would like… A swamp? Perhaps a picnic by an active volcano?

Is he trying to get a rise out of me or threatening to kill me?

KRYSTOFF: Ah! I know just the thing. Come with me.

Confusingly, he guides me straight past the staircases that lead to the foyer portal and continues on down the main hall.

KRYSTOFF: Since you don’t like having attention on you, we’ll do something low key. Oh, but you’ll have to leave your mask behind or you won’t be able to enter.

JUN: Huh? Why?

KRYSTOFF: Your mask prevents you from leaving this sector. It’ll be fine, I go here all the time.

He stops pointedly in front of a particular door and waits for me, so I deliberate for a moment before slipping off my mask off and laying it against the wall next to the door.

KRYSTOFF: This is another portal. So brace yourself for that.

Aww, he remembered that I got mad at him the first time I entered his mansion’s portal without warning. It’s a small thing, but I’m touched all the same. He gestures for me to stand next to him, and we step through the doorway together.

>On the other side of the portal…

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